From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: One of four siblings is now deceased since death of our parents. Do the deceased sibling’s three children or his surviving spouse inherit his share of the estate?
There are two different answers depending on the order of the deaths.
If your sibling died first, and then the surviving parent died without a will, then that parent’s probate estate is divided up under the New Jersey intestacy rules which give 1/4th share to each surviving child and a 1/4th share to be split among the deceased child’s children. Your sibling’s spouse receives nothing.
But, if the parent died first, then your sibling had a right to collect a 1/4th share. That right is an asset of his estate, just like any other asset, so if his will gives all assets to his wife, then she will inherit his share of the parent’s estate. If you wish to set up a phone call where I can get more information, we can map out exactly who receives what. If you are the administrator of your parent’s estate, you want to make sure you turn the inheritance over to the right party in order to not create liability for yourself.